San Fransisco — Jon Gray managed to be just slightly better than Johnny Cueto in the box score but the Giants outlased the Rockies in 13 innings, winning 2-1 on a walk-off from Matt Duffy.
Gray was phenomenal Saturday, turning in arguably his most impressive performance as a professional, holding championship-caliber San Francisco Giants to just one hit in seven innings. He walked two and struck out five, throwing 89 pitches, 56 for strikes. But most importantly was dominating a very experienced lineup all day. It was truly the Jon Gray envisioned by those who thought he might one day be a big factor in turning the Rockies fortunes around.
Gray’s Game Score, which is generally considered a better single game measurement than the Pitcher Win, was 78. Cueto, who danced around traffic — with a little help from some bad Rockies baserunning — surrenderd eight hits but kept the run column clean, leading to a Game Score of 69.
The first run in the game did not come until the top of the 10th when DJ LeMahieu hit a lead-off triple and came in on a Tony Wolters single. That was all the Rockies could get and the Giants struck back in an eerily mirror-like fashion, getting a lead-off triple from Brandon Belt who came in on a Brandon Crawford single. The difference is that the Rockies came one out away from winning it right there.
The only other notable offensive detail is that Nolan Arenado tied his career high by drawing three walks, perhaps testing the theory that he needs to be more patient. In a game where nobody could score through the first nine, maybe striking out twice and smashing one home run would have been the preferable outcome.
The game continued into the 13th when Justin Miller gave up consecutive walks to Conor Gillaspie and Denard Span, setting the stage for a hard-hit Matt Duffy ball to turn left-fielder Gerardo Parra around just enough for it to get over his head. RBI double. Giants win 2-1. For the second time this week, the Rockies outhit their opponent and lost.
This was a fantastic game played at a high level between two teams who can’t stand each other. The game was won and lost at the very moment that Parra zigged when he should have zagged. It was just the kind of game that was going to come down to some minute detail, and that was it.
If Jon Gray does this again, people are going to start to talk. If he does it a few more times and Chad Bettis and Tyler Chatwood hold steady, the Rockies officially have the foundation of a successful, dare I say playoff, pitching staff.
One more against the Giants in San Francisco as another young pitcher hopes to build on a promising start. Eddie Butler takes on Jeff Samrardzija at 2:02 MST.